Tuesday, December 4, 2018


What the heck?!? The most exciting new soul release of the year comes from a group from ... Australia? Just who/what are these Teskey Brothers, who sound like they should come from Georgia, and record at Stax? Just a year ago they were an obscure group out of Melbourne who'd been playing tiny gigs for 10 years but hadn't even recorded or toured. Now they are stars at home, and getting a world-wide launch, on the strength of this debut.

You can safely say these guys like their retro sounds, it doesn't insult them. The band, two brothers named Josh and Sam Teskey, and two pals, want to make southern soul and authentic rhythm and blues music, and they found the more they played it old-school, the better audiences liked them. Josh handles lead vocals, and he's mastered that plaintive sound that puts so much emotion into '60's soul. Sam's the lead guitar player, and has more of an affinity for blues players, but it all fits together nicely. They do a wicked straight blues on Reason Why, which will help them build a broader fan base. The greatest strength though comes from the group's mid-tempo soul numbers, with those aching, Otis-styled vocals and two-man horn parts, just like Stax always did it.

For those missing Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, soul lives on of course, but who would have predicted the next great ones might be Australian? Could be the Teskeys.

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